attorney going over accident claim
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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

You’ve just had an enjoyable afternoon of shopping at Roosevelt Field when you get into your car in the parking lot and are ready to back out of your space. Suddenly, another driver tries to pull into the space next to you but cuts the wheel too close and goes into your car’s right rear quarter panel, leaving a big dent. You get out and exchange car registrations and auto insurance information with the other driver. However, since this wasn’t a major car accident and no one got injured, the police aren’t called to the scene. As a result, you don’t have a police report for this car accident. The question then arises if you can file an accident claim with your own insurance company or against that of the other driver, even though you don’t have a police report.

The good news is that in many cases, you don’t need a police report to file a car accident claim. At Dell & Dean, PLLC, we can help you with all of your automobile accident claims. We are the top choice of car accident attorneys for many drivers in the area. Stop into our office in Garden City or call us the next time you are involved in an accident. Our staff of dedicated attorneys are here to help you.

What’s in a Police Report?

If you’ve never been in a car accident before, then you’ve probably never seen a police report. Basically, this is a one or two-page form that includes all the information about the drivers, the date and time of the accident, and a brief description in words and images of what occurred. Since this is an official police document, it is evidence from an unbiased third party about the accident. As a result, it can expedite a claim filed with an insurance company or, if there is a lawsuit from the accident, can lead to a speedy settlement. However, because your accident was a minor one, there was no police report. This is because police often decline to respond to automobile collisions that are minor in scope and don’t involve personal injuries.

The Good News

In New York State, you do not need a police report in order to file a claim on a minor accident. If you have the information on the other driver and his or her car, including their insurance, you can file the claim yourself with your insurance carrier. You should also consider taking pictures at the scene, including the damage to your car and the other driver’s vehicle. This can help you expedite your insurance claim. Once your insurer has the information, it will contact the other driver’s insurance company to adjust the claim and arrange for your car to be repaired.

Major Accidents

If the accident you were involved in resulted in major damage to your vehicle or, unfortunately, injury to you or one of your passengers, then you may need to obtain a police report after the fact. You can actually do this yourself or have an attorney do this on your behalf by submitting an accident report to the local police precinct with jurisdiction over the place where the accident occurred. You will need to fill this out and take all of the information you have, including any photographs and videos of the accident. This will help the officer complete the police report. Once you have provided this information, the police will fill out a police report on your behalf. You or your attorney will then need to submit this police report to your insurance company along with the claim. 

Contact Us If You Are Involved in a Car Accident

We are a full-service personal injury law firm with a team of car accident attorneys. Call us today if you are involved in a car accident. At Dell & Dean, we will work hard to get you the results you want and will be happy to go over each of the steps you need to take after being involved in a car accident. 

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.